• Craig Baird

A Hockey Scandal In Vermilion

It was in February of 1922 when a hockey scandal rocked Vermilion. After Vegreville won the Bix Six Hockey League Series Championship it was discovered soon after that there may have been some shady tactics conducted by the rival team.

The Vermilion Agrarians suspected that a ringer named Con Bissett was put on the team, despite not having an amateur card or hockey playing certificate. The card presented by Bissett was believed to be fake, and Tucker, the manager of the Vermilion team, took the train to Calgary to speak with the officials at the Alberta Amateur Hockey League.

At the time, Vegreville was allowed to keep the trophy but only on the condition that if a protest were sustained, it would be returned to Vermilion. At the time, it was felt that the entire series would have to be replayed.

On March 8, 1922, it was announced that the Big Six Final Series would have to be replaced. A wire was sent from the Alberta Amateur Hockey Association that stated, quote:

“Executive decides that you order sudden death game on neutral ice between Vegreville and Vermilion to be played on March 9. Winners to play Okotoks at Edmonton on March 11.”

As it turned out, two players from Vermilion were deemed ineligible to play, while only one, Bissett, from Vegreville was removed.

In Mannville, the ice was so poor it was said that the ground was showing in some places and another protest was filed but the game was played, with Vermilion winning the game, despite protests from Vegreville this time.

Vermilion would then play Okotoks, but were easily defeated 4-0.

All in all, it was a unique situation that was the talk of the town for a few weeks in Vermilion in the late winter of 1922.

I put out a history magazine that highlights many aspects of Canadian history. It is free and is delivered to your inbox. E-mail me to subscribe at craig@canadaehx.com

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